Kroth, Peter G.

Peter G.
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Valorization of Unconventional Lipids from Microalgae or Tall Oil via a Selective Dual Catalysis One-Pot Approach

2017-09-27, Hess, Sandra K., Schunck, Natalie S., Goldbach, Verena, Ewe, Daniela, Kroth, Peter G., Mecking, Stefan

A dual catalysis approach enables selective functionalization of unconventional feedstocks composed of complex fatty acid mixtures with highly unsaturated portions like eicosapentaenoate (20:5) along with monounsaturated compounds. The degree of unsaturation is unified by selective heterogeneous hydrogenation on Pd/γ-Al2O3, complemented by effective activation to a homogeneous carbonylation catalyst [(dtbpx)PdH(L)]+ by addition of diprotonated diphosphine (dtbpxH2)(OTf)2. By this one-pot approach, neat 20:5 as a model substrate is hydrogenated to up to 80% to the monounsaturated analogue (20:1), this is functionalized to the desired C21 α,ω-diester building block with a linear selectivity of over 90%. This catalytic approach is demonstrated to be suitable for crude microalgae oil from Phaeodactylum tricornutum genetically engineered for this purpose, as well as tall oil, an abundant waste material. Both substrates were fully converted with an overall selectivity to the linear α,ω-diester of up to 75%.


Synthetic polyester from algae oil

2014-06-23, Roesle, Philipp, Stempfle, Florian, Hess, Sandra K., Zimmerer, Julia, Bártulos, Carolina Río, Lepetit, Bernard, Eckert, Angelika, Kroth, Peter G., Mecking, Stefan

Current efforts to technically use microalgae focus on the generation of fuels with a molecular structure identical to crude oil based products. Here we suggest a different approach for the utilization of algae by translating the unique molecular structures of algae oil fatty acids into higher value chemical intermediates and materials. A crude extract from a microalga, the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, was obtained as a multicomponent mixture containing amongst others unsaturated fatty acid (16:1, 18:1, and 20:5) phosphocholine triglycerides. Exposure of this crude algae oil to CO and methanol with the known catalyst precursor [{1,2-(tBu2PCH2)2C6H4}Pd(OTf)](OTf) resulted in isomerization/methoxycarbonylation of the unsaturated fatty acids into a mixture of linear 1,17- and 1,19-diesters in high purity (>99 %). Polycondensation with a mixture of the corresponding diols yielded a novel mixed polyester-17/19.17/19 with an advantageously high melting and crystallization temperature.